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Document updated/added on 12.04.2021

Topic: Sickness absence

Letter confirming medical report application
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Letter confirming medical report application

Letter confirming medical report application

Where you request a medical report on an employee, they have some key rights where that report is being provided by their own doctor. Once they’ve given their consent to the report, use our letter to confirm you’ve applied for it.

Signed consent

Where you wish to obtain a medical report from an employee's doctor, you first need their written consent under the Access to Medical Reports Act 1988 (AMRA) - see our Letter Requesting Consent to Obtain Medical Report and Medical Report Consent Form. AMRA applies to reports prepared by a medical practitioner who has responsibility for the employee’s clinical care. Assuming you obtain the employee’s consent, you can apply for the report using our Letter to Doctor Requesting Medical Report. However, there’s another key step you then need to take.

Right of access

AMRA also gives employees the right, when providing their consent, to state that they wish to have access to the report before it’s sent to you. If they do, you must notify their doctor of that fact when you make your report application and you must, at the same time, notify the employee of the making of your application. Therefore, our Letter Confirming Medical Report Application is to let the employee know the date you applied for the report - send it on the same day as your application. If the employee didn’t ask for access to the report, it will be sent to you without further reference to them (unless they change their mind in the meantime and contact their doctor to say they do now want prior access).

Arranging access

Where the doctor is notified that the employee does wish to see the report before it’s sent to you, they must not supply it to you unless either they’ve given the employee access to it first, or 21 days (beginning with the date of your application) have elapsed without the doctor having received any communication from the employee concerning access arrangements. So, our letter includes additional paragraphs to use where the employee stated on their consent form that they did wish to see the report before it’s sent to you. It advises them that they must now apply to their doctor for access within 21 days of your application. It also warns them that if they fail to contact their doctor within this timeframe, the report can then be supplied to you without them seeing it first.

Withholding consent

Where the employee is given access to the report, it then won’t be supplied to you unless they notify their doctor that they consent to this - and they can still withhold their consent at this late stage. In addition, before providing their consent, they have the right to first request their doctor to amend any part of the report that they consider to be incorrect or misleading. If the doctor agrees with the changes, the report will be amended. If the doctor doesn’t agree, the employee can require them to attach to the report a statement of their views on any part which the doctor declined to amend, and this statement will be sent to you with the report. Our letter covers this aspect too.

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